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main exactly as before : So that a new duty would only consummate the ruin of the grower.
The chief reliance of the West Indians, however, is on a blockade of the enemy's colonies. An actual blockade of Cuba is impossible; and a proclamation that it is blockaded, together with all the other French and Spanish islands, is a declaration of war against all neutrals. Accordingly, that is the chief hope of the West Indians. Even this, however, would not bring effectual relief; for the strictest blockade will not be able to prevent a large quantity of sugar from being brought over. We shall ourselves bring an increased quantity of prize-sugars to this country; and a considerable quantity will still be carried underhand by Americans. Provisions, lumber, and all the planter's expenses will rise ; freight and insurance will be increased, and the demand will be still further contracted by the violent measures of our enemies in Europe. Unless we can, by our blockade, destroy as many sugar plantations as have been added to the former culture during the last twenty years; that is to say, unless we can lay waste an extent of territory equal to the British West Indies as they stood in 1795, we do nothing by our violence. If the sugar is made and finds its way over, whether by English or by American vessels, it must bear a low price. If it is all brought to this country, and we have the entire command of the market, government may tax the article, at least until the foreign consumer refuses to take it (which, from the state of prices above mentioned would probably very soon happen); but the competition of English sellers will bring down both the home and foreign market, just as inuch as when different nations had the commodity in their hands : And then, the moment peace is made, all attempts to ruin the foreign colonies are out of the question; the foreign market is more glutted than ever; and though the surrender of the conquered colonies takes about 40,000 hogsheads out of the home market, it will be for that reason proportionably more difficult to export the remaining 100,000.
The true remedy for the evil is only to be found in diminishing the growth of sugar. The abolition of the slave trade will genom dually operate this in a great degree ; both by forcing the planter to exact less work from his negroes, and by obliging him to provide more provision grounds for their use. The rigorous execution of this law is the greatest favour which can now be conferred on the West Indian body. In the mean time, however, many of the estates which produce bad sugars must be given up; and many planters will be ruined, whose property is mortgaged. This will be a severe remedy,—but it is a radical one. Unfortunately, too, most of the foreign islands have a much better soil than ours; and the shock will fall less heavily upon them than upon L 2
us. They may even continue to cultivate new lands if they revive the slave trade, and may force us into still greater difficulties.
Thus, has the abominable commerce in human flesh produced a crisis in our colonial system, which it is equally impossible to contemplate without alarm, and to relieve without dispropor. tionate injury to the rest of the empire. Nor can the enemies of that iniquitous trassic now be accused of enthusiasm and sentimental philanthrophy. No proposition, resting on dry calculation, is more plainly and numerically substantiated, than the deduction by which the present calamitous situation of the West Indies is traced from the African slave trade. Happy indeed would it have been for the planters, had they in good time discovered, that a measure prescribed by justice may be also consistent with prudence ; that the most calculating policy sometimes coincides with the dictates of humanity; and that there are other risks beside those of taking counsel from speculative statesmen.
If, however, any measures can be suggested, consistent with sound policy, and tending to lessen the evil, they must surely meet with a favourable reception from the legislature, which for so many years sanctioned the slave trade, and applauded the sugar colony war,-making itself a party to the two great causes of the present distresses. It seems to be quite consistent with sound policy, to free the West Indians from several of the trammels which the monopoly now imposes on them. If the shipping interest should object to the export of the greater staples in American bottoms, is it not a sufficient answer, that the ruin of the West Indians must contribute far more to injure the carriers of their produce, than any American interference ? But what objection can be made to giving the planter full power to manufacture his sagar in the islands? He is now. obliged, by the exorbitant duties on refined sugars, to ship a seventh part of his cargoes with the certainty of its being utterly lost; and to send the rest, in its rudest state, and most bulky form, at a time when the neutral carriers are chiefly underselling him in the articles of freight and insurance. If so silly a regulation must be continued for the increase of our tonnage, why are not the planters and others obliged to send over rubbish or cane trash, or to freight so many empty ships each year, in proportion to their crops? Some such relaxations of the monopoly seem to be the only general palliative that can now be administered to the disease of the colonial system, and it would not be difficult to point out several branches of manufacture which might furnish employment for the hands of deserted plantations. It is clear, however, that nothing can prevent the ruin of many proprietors, and the injury of almost all West India fortunes. Cases of individual distress may, no doubt, claim the attention of the country; but, unfortunately, things are
brought brought to such a state, that the sacrifice of many persons is the only means of reestablishing the general welfare.
The explanation which we have offered of the present distresses, founded on well known facts, and supported by the evi. dence of the West India body themselves, derives a remarkable confirmation from considering a part of the subject, not discussed in any of their pamphlets or reports. They confine their attention entirely to the state of the sugar trade; and our remarks have hitherto applied chiefly to that branch of the question. It may be asked, therefore, why the same difficulties are not felt by the growers of the other staples ? And, in answering this question, we shall find, that every one of the positions formerly advanced rests upon additional proef. .
Before the French revolution, no great supply of coffee was received from the British colonies. Jamaica, and the ceded islands, alone cultivated this staple. In Jamaica, however, the culture was increasing with considerable rapidity, having more than doubled in fifteen years, ending 1789. Dominica had increased somewhat; and Grenada had fallen off greatly. The coffee exported from the British islands had, upon the whole, decreased ; so that Great Britain did not import 33,000 cwt. in 1788, while, on an average of five years, ending 1775, she imported 52,000. But the reduction of duty in 1783, so much encouraged the Jamaica planters, that before the year 1792 the whole British importation stood much higher than it had ever done. At all times, coffee has been an article but little used in this country; and more than nineteen twentieths of the quantity imported was destined for the Continental inarket. During this period, however, the coffee culture was increasing rapidly in the Frencă colonies. St Domingo, which in 1770 did not export above 50,000 cwt., had increased its exportation tenfold in 1786. In 1789 it exported 760,000 cwt. ; and the crop of 1792 was expected to be 800,000 cwt. * The total average export of. coffee from all the French islands, before 1785, was 600,000 cwt.; so that the annual export of coffee from the French colonies, previous to 1792, milet be estimated at above 900,000 cwt. The whole remaining export of this article, from all the other colonies, did not probably exceed 150,000 cwt. So rapidly was the supply of this produce augmented, and so great a part of the whole quantity was furnished by St Domingo. The consump
• Sir W. Young states the exportation of St Domingo, in 1788, at 320,000 cwt. (p. 74.) evidenily from some mistake. The above fums are taken from the report of the Committee of Allembly in Jamaica, 1792 ; and the remarks of Mr Vaughon, inserted in Bryan Edwards, B. V. c. 4.--Tlie official returns to the Legislative Ar rimbly of France, make the exportation, 1791, above 680,000 cwt., although the rebellion broke out in Auguli of that ycar.
tion of coffee, however, increased in proportion ; and, in 1791, its price stood at 70s. per cwt. The destruction of St Domingo took above seven tenths of the whole supply out of the European market; and the price immediately rose to 90s. The emigration of the French planters, and the new encouragements to speculation offered to our own, by the rise of price, accelerated the increase of this culture in Jamaica. In five years (the time required for the maturity of the coffee plant), the produce of that island had increased sevenfold; and, in 1805, it exported 190,000 cwt. The foreign colonies have been increasing their coffee planting during the same period; but it is manifest, that the blank occasioned by the loss of St Domingo has not yet been filled up; for the average import of this country for 1804 and 1805 was no more than 308,000 cwt., though it included the produce of all the coffee colonies except Martinico, Guadaloupe and Cuba, in which last, the sugar cultivation has very far outstripped that of coffee; and the average importation from the same colonies, in 1'91, cannot be taken at less than 100,000 cwt.; so that the total increase of coffee in those settlements, where the principal efforts have been made to fill up a blank of 760,000 cwt., does not amount to more than 208,000 cwt. in 1805. * Accordingly, the price of coffee, in that year, was 6l. per cwt. in the British market, exclusive of duty. As the supply, however, is rapidly augmenting (Jamaica alone having, it is said, coffee walks sufficient speedily to produce 400,000 cwt.), and as considerable obstacles have lately been thrown in the way of our exportation to the Continent, it is certain that this price is on the decline. Indeed, it has fallen, since i 80.5, to 90 or 95s.
From these details, it is manifest, that the coffee and sugar planter have suffered so very differently from the excessive progress of West India agriculture, since the destruction of St Domingo, merely because that event diminished the whole supply of those two staples in a very different proportion. It is also obvious, that no other cause exists, for the distresses of the sugar trade, than the glut of the whole market of the world, otherwise the coffee trade would have suffered also. We find, on the contrary, that the exportation of coffee has been increasing rapidly to the present time, notwithstanding a duty not drawn back. Yet the Americans carry coffee to the continental markets + much cheaper than we can do; and those who ascribe the stoppage of
* In the year ending September 14c6, the Americans, according to their official returns, carried to Europe about 420,000 cwt, of coffee,
tcing nearly the whole crop of the enemy's islands. Adınitting that · lalf of this was clear increase since the revolution (which is much
above the truth), there remains a deficit of 340,000 cut. 't See last Note.
loyibution, has the into the giù
our sugar exports to our being undersold by the neutral fings, must be sensible that coffee should, on their principles, be as much a drug as sugar. Further, it is clear, that the abolition of the slave trade having been carried into eilect before the cofree market had been in any degree glutted, there is 1:0 (1:2, ar of the coffee planter falling into the same situation with the sugar pianter. Finally, as the deficiency in the supply occasioned by the revolution, has not yet been filled up, there is room for employing, in coffee planting, some of the negroes now engaged in sugar plantations; and as a great proportion of the capital vested in West India estates, consists of the value of the slaves, an opportunity is thus left of obtaining, for this valuable property, something like its fair price.
It is unnecessary to enter into similar details respeciing the cotton trade. The demand for manufactures having increased prodigiously while the growth of cotton was making a rapid progress, especially in the Dutch and Portuguese colonies, and in Georgia, the price of the raw article has kept up, until last year, when, from the obstacles thrown in the way of our trade, the cotton manufacture began to experience, in common with the other branches of industry, the practical evils of a general war.
Art. X. Poems. By the Rev. J. Mant, M. A. 8vo. London.
do of that ny permanent in increign of Cherye
A MONG the many injuries inflicted on the human intellect by :
the wits (for in truth they did not deserve the name of poets), who ' flourished' in the reign of Charles the Second, none was more permanent in its effe&ts, than the total forgetfulness of that style of poetry which delineates the beauties of the country, and the enjoyment of rural happiness. Few of the inferior topics, however, are so interesting as this ; and, to evince how natural it is to love even the plainefs description of pleaûng and familiar objects, we need only appeal to the popularity fo jong enjoyed by that dullest of all possible poems, the ingenious Mr Pomfret's Choice.' It is however true, that though all the
gentlemen who wrote with ease,' and rhyming persons of honour' of that and the preceding age, occasionally thought it necessary to write pastorals, and to exprefs their love of folitude and rural retirement, yet, by far the greater part knew nothing at all of what they profeller to admire; and, when sent by debts into the country, considered it only as a horrible banislıment anion, parsons and savages. Their poetical predeceffors had no greaicr delight than in painting by words, and presenting to their readers a highly coloured image of those sublime natural phenomena